Kevin Barry lands on Booker Prize longlist with 'Night Boat To Tangier'

Irish author Kevin Barry has been longlisted for this year’s Booker Prize.

The
Limerick-born author earned his place on the so-called ‘Booker Dozen’ with Night Boat to Tangier,
his third novel. His first, City of Bohane, won the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, while his 2015 follow-up, Beatlebone, was awarded the Goldsmiths Prize.

The
13-strong list, which is made up of eight women and five men, includes two former winners and literary heavyweights, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie.

The
Testaments, Canadian
Atwood’s highly anticipated follow-up to her 1985 dystopian classic The
Handmaid’s Tale,
will be published in early September, while Indian-British Rushdie has been longlisted for theDon
Quixote-inspiredQuichotte,
published at the end of next month.

This
year’s longlist includes just one debut novel, Nigerian writer Oyinkan Braithwaite’s darkly funnyMy
Sister,The
Serial Killer.

The
other longlisted novels are US-born Lucy Ellman’s Ducks,
Newburyport;
British writer John Lanchester’s
The Wall; The
Man Who Saw Everything by
British writer Deborah Levy; Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive; An Orchestra of Minorities by Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma; Lanny by Briton Max Porter; Turkish writer and activist Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange
World; and English author Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein.

Night
Boat to Tangier, which centres
around two ageing Cork gangsters who find themselves keeping vigil at a ferry terminal in southern Spain, started out as a commission by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre.

Read more: Dark energies creep into the writing shed – author Kevin Barry on the black comedy in his latest play

The
judges describe it as “a rogue gem of a novel… is a work of crime fiction not quite like any other. The seedy underbelly of a Spanish port and a stony Irish town are the backdrop for a story of misdeeds, madness and loss that swells with poetry and pathos”.

A
six-strong shortlist for the £50,000 prize will be announced on September 3, with the overall winner revealed on October 14.

If
he wins, Barry can expect a significant bump in sales.

Last
year’s prize was awarded to Belfast author Anna Burns, whose Troubles-era novel Milkman went on to become one of the year’s bestselling books after increasing its sale 880% in the week following her win. It has, to date, sold 546,500 copies, across all formats.

Reviews of some of this year’s shortlisted books:

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